I THE CONTEXT
As was discussed in our chapter in the previous edition of this work, during 2015 and 2016 Chinese and steel imports constituted two of the biggest concerns in the trade environment of Mexico. While China continues to have a huge weight in such environment, the Mexican steel industry has, in general, reported a fair performance mainly because of the adverse currency exchange and the ‘emergency’ or ‘transitory’ import duties of 15 per cent on 97 steel-related tariff items that will expire on 5 October 2017. This can be shown in the very small number of trade remedy cases on steel-related products throughout 2016–2017.
On the one hand, one of the most important trade developments is the result of the new administration in the United States under President Donald Trump. As it has widely been reported, President Trump is of the idea that Mexico has taken advantage of the United States (US) owing to the ‘worst ever negotiated free trade agreement’, because Mexico has a trade surplus of US$65 billion with the US; during 2016 Mexico exported US$296 billion and imported US$231 billion. According to President Trump, the United States needs to reduce or eliminate such trade deficit with Mexico through withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement, or a new or a renegotiated North American Free and Fair Trade Agreement (or NAFTA 2.0). Similarly, despite the fact that in November 2016 the Mexican Senate was already discussing the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP, the new United States administration announced that it would not move forward with TPP and withdrew its signature.
Suddenly, Mexico was facing a future that it was not prepared for. Mexico was eager to have a TPP during 2017 or early 2018, but in turn, it woke up with very different news: no TPP and, possibly, no NAFTA. Rapidly, most sectors and government officials began to look at ways to convince the new US administration that withdrawing from NAFTA was not a good idea. Although the US’s trade deficit with Mexico is relatively high, both economies complement each other, and there are many value chains dependent on such trade. After a very uncertain trade landscape, the three North American partners have agreed to move forward in a renegotiation of NAFTA, and Mexico is looking forward to such renegotiation, as it believes in its modernisation. However, Mexico faces a political issue: 2018 will be an election year for a new presidential term for 2018–2024. The question is whether a NAFTA renegotiation process is able to conclude at some point before politics takes over. We honestly do not believe so.
While the NAFTA withdrawal uncertainty was present, there were Mexican voices urging the government to pursue a TPP without the United States, or even consider the possibility of beginning free trade negotiations with China or South Korea. Recently, the Chinese government has announced its interest in pursuing trade negotiations with Mexico. Many oppose such idea. In 2016, Mexico exported US$5,407 million in goods to China and imported US$69,521 million, resulting in an outstanding trade deficit of US$64,114 million. As can be seen, while China could be well prepared to face a free trade negotiation process. Mexico looks at China with caution, especially because Chinese direct investment in Mexico continues to be of a very low magnitude. One could only foresee that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to balance bilateral trade. In another important development, the expiration term of China’s treatment as a non-market economy, as provided by its WTO Accession Protocol, marks a new era in trade relations between Mexico and China for 2017 and beyond.
II OVERVIEW OF TRADE REMEDIES
As of 24 July and 24 August 1986 respectively, Mexico became a signatory country to the Anti-dumping Code and acceded to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT),2 and since 1 January 1995, it has been a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). One year prior to its accession to GATT, Mexico established its trade remedies regime through the Law that Regulates the Application of Article 131 of the Constitution as regards Foreign Trade. The former Mexican Ministry of Commerce started to conduct trade remedy investigations in 1987,3 and since then it has initiated 328 trade remedy investigations and imposed 185 and anti-dumping and countervailing measures.4 As a result of Mexico’s commitments in Annex 1905.15 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the aforementioned law was abrogated on 23 July 1993 and replaced by the Foreign Trade Law (FTL), which continues to be in force.5
Historically, anti-dumping duties have been the trade defence instrument most frequently used by Mexican authorities. On the one hand, 93 per cent of the total number of initiated investigations and imposed measures are anti-dumping. Subsidy and safeguard investigations, on the other hand, account for 7 per cent.6 Thus, Mexican authorities continue to rely predominantly on anti-dumping duties as their preferred trade defence instrument.
Trade remedy investigations are conducted by the Ministry of Economy through its Foreign Trade Practices Unit (UPCI), and, as of the end of June 2017, Mexico has dramatically decreased its trade remedy activity. It has only three ongoing original anti-dumping investigations, two of which concern steel-related goods.7 The countries involved are China, South Korea, India, Spain and Ukraine.8
Mexico currently has 67 anti-dumping or countervailing measures in force. The domestic industry frequently requests anti-dumping investigations into Chinese exporters, and these have led to 30 anti-dumping duties applicable to Chinese products. The country of origin of products with the second most anti-dumping duties in place is the United States (eight), followed by India (five), Russia and Ukraine, with four duties each, and Brazil, South Korea, Spain and the United Kingdom (two each). In recent years the Mexican steel industry has been constantly active in the trade remedy system, alleging anti-dumping practices from steel-exporting countries. Consequently, the majority of anti-dumping duties in force apply to the metallic industries and its manufactured goods (42 duties), followed by the chemical, oil derivate and plastic industry with 10.
During 2016 and 2017, Mexico conducted an important anti-dumping investigation on coated steel from China and Taiwan. One of main users of coated steel is the automotive industry, and while one of the biggest concerns was the potential effect on the auto-industry, it imposed a lesser duty of 22.26 per cent for both countries. However, in an effort not to give Taiwan a specific low rate, it rejected its data sales information, and for China it used Brazil as the surrogate country.
In fact, when dealing with Chinese products in anti-dumping investigations, the UPCI uses a surrogate country approach for the calculation of normal value. Brazil is frequently used as surrogate country, as well as India, the United States or Colombia. However, in the most recent investigation against China concerning metallic balloon imports,9 Mexico relied on a traditional methodology of market economy to determine normal value. Price undertakings are very rare in the Mexican trade remedy system; however, there are two price undertakings in effect, one of which constitutes the first ever price undertaking reached by Chinese exporters in a Mexican trade remedy investigation.10
III SIGNIFICANT LEGAL AND PRACTICAL DEVELOPMENTS
As noted previously, investigations against China constitute the vast majority of Mexico’s unfair trade practice investigations in recent years.
In the previous edition of this title, we asserted that the position of the UPCI would come into question after December 2016, in light of the market economy status that Mexico is obligated to afford to China after 2016, upon conclusion of the 15-year period following China’s accession to the WTO. There has been no official position from Mexican authorities with regard to whether the UPCI will begin affording China market economy status or whether it will maintain the surrogate country approach.
There were different views as to how to deal with China after 2016. Such views were discussed at the Consultation Council of International Trade Practices (CCPCI), an independent body with no decision-making power, formed by the private sector, the investigating authority and a few practitioners. The most radical position was that nothing had changed. Under that position, exporters continued to have the burden of proof to demonstrate that in China, or in the relevant industry, market conditions prevailed. By contrast, the contrary position was that the non-market economy or NME methodology (surrogate country) could not last longer than 15 years, because subparagraph 15(a)(ii) of China’s Protocol Accession to the WTO expired after 15 years subsequent to its WTO accession in accordance with the second sentence of subparagraph 15(d). Accordingly, Mexico would be obligated to grant market economy treatment to China as of 11 December 2016.
An in-between position was expressed by Jorge Miranda.11 Miranda explained that subparagraph 15(a) does not expire on December 2016, since the NME methodology would remain applicable to China after the date of expiration subject to the limitations set forth in the first and third sentences of subparagraph 15(d), which indicate that the NME methodology is permissible as long as China or the relevant industry has not demonstrated that it has become a market economy.12 Notwithstanding the absence of subparagraph 15(a)(ii), Miranda adds that recourse to the NME methodology could be justified with subparagraphs 15(a), 15(a)(i) and the first and third sentences of 15(d) with ‘a showing by the domestic industry in the petition to the effect that the targeted Chinese industry remains under an NME regime’.13
During 2017, Mexico amended the dumping questionnaires to address the China-NME situation. In a nutshell, Mexico followed the position that it is incumbent on the domestic industry to show that NME conditions prevail in China or the relevant industry or sector. As a matter of fact, in the recent notice of anti-dumping investigation initiation on metallic balloons from China,14 the petitioner could not demonstrate said situation, and Mexico opened the investigation granting China ME treatment, for the first time in the Mexican anti-dumping system. As for the reviews or sunset exams of anti-dumping orders, pursuant to the new questionnaires, it is incumbent on the exporters to demonstrate that China, or the relevant industry or sector, no longer operates under an NME regime. Accordingly, Mexican questionnaires would suggest that, in original investigations, the burden of proof falls on the domestic industry, while in reviews or sunsets, the burden of proof relies on the exporters.
IV TRADE DISPUTES
i Mexico under the WTO
In this area, the most recent trade disputes related to trade remedies involving Mexico are no longer recent, as their reports were adopted on 24 July 2007 and 21 October 2008.15 Thus, under this section, although not related to trade remedies, we will briefly address the current status of Mexico’s outstanding WTO dispute as a complainant, namely in US – Tuna II (Article 21.5 – Mexico).16 This dispute entails an ‘eco-label’ in tuna products, namely dolphin-safe, and its contouring regulations. Though some aspects of the challenged amended measures were found to be inconsistent with certain provisions of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and GATT, the Appellate Body left the core of the dispute moot because the panel did not assess properly whether the tuna-safe labelling requirements constitute unjustifiable discrimination against Mexican tuna products. The labelling requirements, in essence, disqualify tuna products from the label when setting on dolphins, a fishing method used by Mexican fleets, while it allows all other fishing methods.
As a result of the WTO nonconformity findings, Mexico requested authorisation from the Dispute Settlement Body to suspend concessions in the amount of US$472.3 million annually. The US objected to said amount, and a panel was established to review the adequate level of suspension. On 25 April 2017, the decision was issued whereby the panel considered that Mexico may suspend concessions at a level not exceeding US$163.23 million per annum.17
Needless to say, in March 2016 the US made amendments to the tuna-labelling regime and claimed that it was WTO-compliant. Mexico disagreed because the tuna-labelling regime continued to disqualify tuna products from the label when tuna is obtained by setting on dolphins, while allowing the use of other fishing methods that also pose risk to dolphins. Hence, the US, on the one hand, requested a compliance panel, which was established on 2 June 2016, with the purpose of reviewing the WTO conformity of the amendments. Mexico, on the other hand, also requested a compliance panel, which was established on 11 July 2016.
As of the date of drafting the present chapter, neither compliance panel has issued its report, which may still be challenged through an appeal, leaving the dispute far from being over. As for the suspension of concessions, Mexico has still not taken any measure against US products, but as said, it has already been authorised to do so.
ii Mexico as respondent in NAFTA disputes
Recently, the UPCI’s determinations have been challenged under the dispute settlement mechanism provided in Chapter 19 NAFTA. Since 2011, five disputes have been filed before the NAFTA Secretariat, but users are facing serious challenges. To date, the only recent case that has completely finished its due course was the review of the final determination of the sunset review of the anti-dumping duty on a certain type of stearic acid from the US.18 Such determination was challenged by the domestic industry on the grounds that the UPCI incorrectly admitted an alleged ‘new shipper’, who should have initiated a new-shipper review instead. The panel upheld the final determination, where applicable duties on such party – the alleged new shipper – had been revoked.
The remaining four active proceedings are at different stages, namely a panel is yet to be established,19 the public hearing is pending,20 the decision is yet to be complied with by the UPCI,21 or the UPCI has already issued its compliance determination.22 Not all of the proceedings comply with the relevant time frames set forth on NAFTA, because Mexico and the US have trouble agreeing on the appointment of panellists, and once panels are established they normally take an unreasonable amount of time to issue their decisions. For instance, it took more than four years for a panel to issue a decision in the case regarding anti-dumping duties on chicken thighs and legs.23
In addition to the excessive delay to render their decisions, the two most recent cases exhibit a handful of flaws in this unique dispute settlement mechanism. Starting with the lack of a uniform structure and its unnecessary length, the decision on the anti-dumping duties imposed on chicken legs and thighs from the US has, in our opinion, serious deficiencies in the legal analysis of the claims. A clear example is failing to carry out a complete and unequivocal likeness assessment between whole chickens vis-à-vis chicken legs and thighs, a basic task for any trade panel. Nonetheless, the most notable findings of the panel in this case was that UPCI acted inconsistently with the FTL and ADA, because it had disregarded domestic sales as well as the costs reported in the records kept by the exporters for the reconstruction of normal value, on the basis that in the US an alleged ‘particular market situation’ caused by US consumer preference for white chicken meat affects the value of dark chicken meat (i.e., legs and thighs).
The dispute concerning the final determination of the anti-dumping investigation on monobutyl ether of ethylene glycol from the United States was brought by two exporters claiming, among other matters, that the UPCI did not carry out an ‘objective examination’ in its injury determination pursuant to Article 3.1 ADA. In addition, one exporter claimed that it was not provided a full opportunity to defend its case as the UPCI rejected taking into account evidence offered in due time. With questionable legal findings, the panel issued its decision upholding the UPCI’s injury determination; however, it ordered the UPCI to take into account the rejected evidence and issue a new final determination considering thereof. Incredibly, the panel, in its decision, ‘forgot’ not only to provide the justification why one claim did not have merit, but most importantly to set a deadline for compliance.
Soon after rendering its incomplete decision, the proceedings were suspended for over a year because the chairman of the panel renounced his position, since he was appointed as a judge in one of the new chambers specialising in foreign trade matters. The UPCI finally complied with the decision in May 2017, and the panel issued its notice of final action on 27 June 2017. Moreover, the UPCI had already carried out a changed-circumstance review of the anti-dumping duty, and the final determination is now subject to another Chapter 19 NAFTA dispute.24
Given the above, NAFTA Chapter 19 panels are proving not to be an adequate remedy for exporters who seek to challenge a final determination in a prompt manner and through a more impartial, specialised and experienced tribunal. The recent experience is that panels show an excessive and undue deference towards Mexican procedural law, as a result of the UPCI’s procedural defences, thereby considering certain claims ‘inadmissible’ or ‘ineffective’ and, thus, avoid resolution on the merits. Nonetheless, panels reviewing the UPCI’s final determination at least find inconsistencies with the FTL and ADA that would probably be overlooked by the domestic courts. Given NAFTA’s imminent renegotiation, this dispute settlement mechanism should be improved rather than eliminated. By addressing the issues regarding the appointment of panellists and the suspension of the proceedings, perhaps with the creation of a permanent panel, panels will be able to comply with the time frames, and the quality of the decisions may increase significantly owing to experience, reducing negative criticism.
V TREATY FRAMEWORK
Mexican free trade negotiators will have a busy agenda in the following years, mainly explained by the Trump factor. Originally a response to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and to prevent a possible decline of European exports, the European Union and Mexico started negotiating the ‘update’ of their FTA (EUMFTA) in May 2016; likewise, Mexico and the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) also began talks on updating their FTA in June 2016. However, owing to Trump’s views on trade, talks with the European Union have been ‘accelerated’, as per the request of Mexico; moreover, Mexico has an ongoing FTA negotiation with Turkey that started in 2014, and it is now reported that the trade talks are advancing after an impasse. Mexico is also engaging in trade talks with Brazil and Argentina to further deepen their economic ties.
Furthermore, given that the US withdrew its signature in the TPP, the 11 contracting countries issued a declaration in May 2017, during an APEC summit, stating that they are evaluating options regarding whether the treaty may enter into force without the US or whether it should be subject to negotiations. In any case, the future of the TPP is anything but uncertainty, the reason for which is that some countries, such as New Zealand and Canada, have shown interest in the Pacific Alliance, a ‘new’ generation FTA between Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru that entered into force in May 2016. Needless to say, the Obama administration viewed the TPP as a medium of updating NAFTA, but the 23-year-old trade agreement will now be the subject of renegotiations, as per the request of the new US administration, and it faces a serious threat, namely the withdrawal of the US.
It is clear that the moribund TPP’s and the threat on NAFTA’s existence have radically modified Mexico’s calm playing field, forcing an immediate reaction from the federal government. The current situation, therefore, has pushed Mexico to diversify and reduce its dependency on North American trade, which constitutes most of its exports. Given the above, we will briefly address the main negotiation topics in the Mexico–EU FTA update, and those that will be likely brought up on NAFTA’s renegotiation.
i EUMFTA update
Although EUMFTA liberalised virtually all trade in goods between the parties25 and introduced standstill clauses in the trade of services, Mexico and the European Union are seeking to further strengthen their FTA by improving aspects regarding market access of goods and services as well as introducing new modern trade rules.26 EUMFTA is, like NAFTA, outdated as it does not address Mexico’s recent ‘structural reforms’, which introduced free market policies in the energy, telecommunications-broadcasting and financial sectors, as well as the pressing topics in today’s trade agenda, namely non-tariff barriers, which have been addressed in other modern FTAs, namely the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and TPP.
It is reported that the parties are discussing matters related to market access for agri-food and fisheries products, specific rules for textiles, machinery and automotives, electronic commerce, energy, customs procedures, rules of origins (including the extension of cumulation of origin to other Latin American that are shared partners),27 among others topics such as competition, investment protection and small and medium-sized enterprises, and public procurement.
Most importantly, the negotiations will address non-tariff barriers caused by the divergence and differences in domestic regulations (i.e., technical regulations, conformity assessment procedures and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures). This problem will most likely be tackled with ‘regulatory cooperation’ through the establishment of special bodies that will monitor the adoption and application or enforcement of standards, regulations and conformity assessment procedures and setting up discussions regarding thereof, as well as mechanisms to recognise regulatory equivalence and recognition of SPS certificates. With greater regulatory coherence, it is argued that trade flows would increase as economic agents will benefit from lower market access costs.
ii NAFTA renegotiation
The United States Trade Representative (USTR), the authority in charge of conducting free trade agreement negotiations, notified Congress of its intent to negotiate NAFTA on 18 May 2017. Therefore, negotiations may be initiated after 90 days of said notice (i.e., 16 August 2017). In the notice letter, the USTR stressed that NAFTA is outdated and does not reflect modern standards, and that the aim of the renegotiation will be to modernise it by including new rules on digital trade, intellectual property rights, regulatory practices, state-owned enterprises, services, customs procedures, SPS measures, labour, environment and small and medium-sized enterprises.28
Interestingly, the matters pointed out in the USTR’s notice letter were already addressed in the TPP. In fact, US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, recognised that parts of the TPP may be used as a ‘starting point’ in the NAFTA renegotiation.29 Likewise, Mexican Under-Minister of Foreign Trade, Juan Carlos Baker, has also recognised that the TPP may serve as inspiration, but cautioned that that does not necessarily entail its text will be imported into NAFTA since the TPP is the result of a compromise between 12 countries.30 Hence, the ‘massive’ renegotiation expectations created by the new US president may be nothing but a modest upgraded version of NAFTA with TPP features.
As of the time of writing, there has not been any official statement or position of the US (or any other party) regarding topics subject to negotiations. Thus, one may assume the Ministry of Economy continues to lack of a clear idea regarding what the American government may request.31 However, much has been said during the Trump campaign and his six-month administration, including a leaked draft letter to Congress about the USTR’s intention to renegotiate NAFTA that specified in much more detail the intended changes to said agreement.32 Bearing in mind that the main concerns of the US are its trade deficit with Mexico (and China) and protecting manufacturing jobs, we believe that rules of origins will be at the centre of the negotiating table and that they will likely be tightened, resulting in an increase of the regional content requirements in most industries, including automotive and electronics. Topics that will probably be discussed during the renegotiation process by the NAFTA parties, in addition to those already mentioned, are the Antidumping Dispute Settlement (Chapter XIX), the State to State Dispute Settlement Mechanism (Chapter XX), energy, and government procurement.
Given that the NAFTA renegotiation is imminent, the Mexican Ministry of Economy is currently undertaking public consultations since NAFTA negotiations are likely to start by late August or early September 2017. Accordingly, the US expects to conclude the renegotiation process by January 2018 – a record negotiation time frame – well before Mexico’s general elections to be held on 1 July 2018, the expiry of ‘fast-track’ negotiating authority in July 2018 and US congressional elections in mid-November 2018.33 In a similar vein, the Mexican Minister of Economy, Idelfonso Guajardo, declared that there are ‘incentives’ to conclude the NAFTA negotiations by the end of 2017.34 The ambition of the NAFTA parties is beyond words. It is very likely, if not evident, that they will not finish within the imagined time frames. NAFTA parties would be lucky enough to reach an agreement by mid or the end of 2018, since it is unrealistic to believe that the renegotiation may take less than four months.
Mexico is at a moment of uncertainty. Though NAFTA will be subject to negotiations, the threats of the US president to withdraw from said agreement has Mexico still holding its breath as the US is Mexico’s main export market.35
On the one hand, if negotiations take too long or the result is not ‘massive’ for the eyes of the US president, he may trigger article 2205 NAFTA and withdraw the US from NAFTA, a process that would take six months once the written notice of withdrawal is provided to Mexico and Canada, and US tariff rates would remain unchanged for an additional year pursuant to US Law.36 In such scenario, WTO Law would govern the Mexico–US trade relations, and US products, which currently enjoy duty-free market access under NAFTA, will be subject to MFN duty rates; in 2016, Mexico’s MFN tariffs average in agricultural and non-agricultural products were 14.3 per cent and 4.6 per cent, respectively,37 and Mexico may eventually increase its MFN tariffs pursuant to its WTO schedule.38
On the other hand, if NAFTA negotiations are successful, we may be seeing a modern NAFTA by next year and Mexico’s economic stability would be preserved. However, Mexico’s 2018 general elections will produce a new president, and a recurrent left-nationalist political figure appears to be a strong candidate. If a left-nationalist government is put into power, Mexico’s trade liberalisation policy with low tariffs may shift dramatically in the coming years.
Needless to say, the tense US–Mexico trade relationship may encourage Asian countries and Mexico to initiate FTA negotiations. In early 2016, the presidents of Korea and Mexico agreed on establishing a working group with a view to setting the basis for an FTA.39 The results of such working group are unknown, as the Korean ambassador in Mexico continues to insist on FTA negotiations.40
The possible vacuum that may be left by the US has also encouraged China to approach Mexico. The Chinese ambassador in Mexico recently declared that their door is ‘open’ to initiate an FTA negotiation. As noted above, it is unlikely that an FTA may be concluded between Mexico and China, since it would face great resistance and opposition by the Mexican industry. However, in recent years China has been improving market access to Mexican agricultural products; meanwhile it is possible that Mexico may see an increase in Chinese foreign investment. Moreover, Chinese officials expect that Mexico’s new trade-economic policy ‘special economic zones’ will further strengthen their economic relations with Mexico.
In that sense, it is impossible to ignore that Mexico will be creating, at least, four special economic zones (SEZs) this year in strategic locations. Accordingly, the purpose of the SEZs is to promote economic development in certain ‘undeveloped’ southern regions by attracting investment. Companies that locate within a SEZ will be granted tax, customs, financial and other business incentives.41 Though Mexico’s SEZ policy is a policy with medium and long-term objectives, we will be seeing new trends in trade customs fields that may be later adapted or imported into the rest of the Mexican territory.
As for trade remedies, Mexico has finally granted market economy treatment to China in an original anti-dumping investigation since the UPCI considered that the domestic industry failed to prove that non-market conditions prevailed in the relevant industry. Now the question is whether the UPCI will continue treating China in sunset reviews of anti-dumping duties as a non-market economy. We will see more on this in the year to come.
1 Adrián Vázquez Benítez is managing partner and Emilio Arteaga Vázquez is an associate at Vázquez Tercero & Zepeda.
2 Constance A Hamilton, ‘Review of trade and investment liberalization measures by Mexico and prospects for future United States–Mexican relations’ (USTIC Publication, 1990) pp. 4–15.
3 Secretaría de Economía, www.gob.mx/cms/uploads/attachment/file/236485/Estadisticas_UPCI_030717.pdf, accessed 3 July 2017.
5 North American Free Trade Agreement (adopted 17 December 1992, entered into force 1 January 1994) (1993) 32 ILM 289.
6 See footnote 3.
7 Longitudinally welded pipe from China and seamless pipe from South Korea, Spain, India and Ukraine.
9 Notice of initiation, Secretaría de Economía, Diario Oficial de la Federación (26 June 2017).
10 Cold-rolled steel from South Korea and ceramic tiles from China. The latter was reached during October 2016, while cold-rolled was recently reviewed to increase the quota volume for the two Korean exporters.
11 See Jorge Miranda, ‘A Comment on Vermulst’s Article on China in Anti-dumping Proceedings after December 2016’, at Global Trade and Customs Journal, Volume 11, Issue 7-8, pages 306–313. Kluwer Law International, 2016.
12 Ibid., p. 306.
13 Ibid., p. 308.
14 See footnote 9.
15 Panel report, Mexico – Anti-dumping Duties on Steel Pipes and Tubes from Guatemala, WT/DS331/R, adopted 24 July 2007, DSR 2007:IV, 1207; and Panel report, Mexico – Definitive Countervailing Measures on Olive Oil from the European Communities, WT/DS341/R, adopted 21 October 2008, DSR 2008:IX.
16 Appellate Body report, US – Measures Concerning the Importation, Marketing and Sale of Tuna and Tuna Products – Recourse to Article 21.5 of DSU by Mexico, WT/DS381/AB/R, adopted 3 December 2015 (US – Tuna II (Article 21.5 – Mexico)).
17 Decision by the Arbitrator, US – Tuna II (Article 22.6 – US), WT/DS381/34, 25 April 2017, p. 85.
18 MEX-USA-2011-1904-01, Review of the final determination of the effective examination and the official review on anti-dumping duties regarding imports of certain types of stearic acid originating from the United States of America (Panel Request 11 November 2011).
19 MEX-USA-2016-1904-01, Review of the Final Determination of the changed-circumstances review of anti-dumping duties imposed to imports of monobutyl ether of ethylene glycol from the United States of America (Panel Request 30 June 2016).
20 MEX-USA-2015-1904-01, Review of the Final Determination of anti-dumping duties imposed to imports of ammonium sulphate, from the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China (Panel Request 6 November 2015).
21 MEX-USA-2012-1904-01, Review of the Final Determination of anti-dumping duties imposed to imports of chicken thighs and legs, from the United States of America (Panel Request 3 September 2012).
22 MEX-USA-2012-1904-02, Review of the Final Determination of anti-dumping duties imposed to imports of ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, from the United States of America (Panel Request 9 October 2012).
23 Final Decision of the Panel regarding the Review of the Final Determination of anti-dumping duties imposed to imports of chicken thighs and legs, from the United States, Federal Official Gazette, 11 May 2017.
24 See footnote 19.
25 All tariffs for industrial goods were eliminated, 309 agricultural and fisheries tariff lines (out of a total of 1,192) were not fully liberalised; see European Commission, Impact Assessment: Recommendation for a Council Decision authorising the European Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to open negotiations and to negotiate with Mexico a modernised Global Agreement (13 January 2016), p. 10.
26 For more information, the European Commission has published its textual proposals: http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1661.
27 Mexico, Trade Policy Report, WT/TPR/G/352, 15 February 2017 https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/tpr_e/g352_e.pdf, accessed 5 July 2017.
28 USTR’s NAFTA Negotiation Notice Letter (18 May 2017) available at https://ustr.gov/sites/default/files/files/Press/Releases/NAFTA%20Notification.pdf, accessed 5 July 2017.
29 Andrew Mayeda and David Gura, ‘Ross Says TPP Could Form Starting Point for U.S. on Nafta Talks, Bloomberg’ (3 May 2017) https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-03/ross-says-tpp-could-
form-starting-point-for-u-s-on-nafta-talks, accessed 5 July 2017.
30 Susana González G, ‘Publica SE plataforma de consulta sobre renegociación del TLCAN’, La Jornada (28 June 2017) www.jornada.unam.mx/ultimas/2017/06/28/publica-se-plataforma-de-
consulta-por-renegociacion-del-tlcan, accessed 5 July 2017.
31 Ivette Saldaña, ‘México Preparado para cualquier escenario en TLCAN: Baker’, El Universal (27 April 2017) www.eluniversal.com.mx/articulo/nacion/politica/2017/04/27/mexico-preparado-
para-cualquier-escenario-en-tlcan-baker, accessed 5 July 2017.
32 Max Ehrenfreund and Damian Paletta, ‘White House calls for changing, but not scrapping, NAFTA in draft letter’, The Washington Post (30 March 2017) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/03/30/white-house-calls-for-changing-but-not-scrapping-nafta-in-draft-letter/?utm_term=.30ad5092c665, accessed 5 July 2017.
33 David Lawder, ‘U.S. Commerce chief says hopes to finish NAFTA talks by early January’, Reuters (31 May 2017) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-nafta-idUSKBN18R35F?il=0, accessed 5 July 2017; ‘Renegociación del TLC puede prolongarse hasta 2018, advierte EU’ www.eluniversal.com.mx/articulo/mundo/2017/06/19/renegociacion-del-tlc-puede-prolongarse-hasta-2018-advierte-eu, accessed 5 July 2017.
34 Dave Graham, ‘U.S., Mexico elections incentivize speedy NAFTA talks: Mexico minister’, Reuters (31 May 2017) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-nafta-mexico-idUSKBN18R2JY?il%3D0, accessed 5 July 2017.
35 Exports to the United States accounted for 81.2 per cent of the total in 2015; see footnote 27 at p. 8.
36 Gregory Husisian, ‘NAFTA and the New Trump Administration: Your Top Ten Questions Answered’ (1 December 2016) https://www.foley.com/nafta-and-the-new-trump-administration-12-01-2016/, accessed 5 July 2017.
37 See footnote 27 at pp. 9 and 166.
38 ‘Mexico bound all its tariff lines in the Uruguay Round, at levels ranging from 0 to 254%. About 77% of the total were bound at 35%, 9% at levels below 35%, and the remainder at levels above 35%’; see footnote 27 at p. 49.
39 ‘Excelsior, México y Corea del Sur negociarán posible TLC’, Excelsior (4 April 2016) www.excelsior.com.mx/nacional/2016/04/04/1084504, accessed 5 July 2017.
40 ‘Yuridia Torres, Corea quiere Tratado de Libre Comercio con México: embajador’, El Financiero
(15 February 2017) www.elfinanciero.com.mx/economia/corea-quiere-tratado-de-libre-comercio-
con-mexico-embajador.html, accessed 5 July 2017.
41 For additional information on Mexico’s Special Economic Zones, visit and download a report prepared by our law firm available at our website (www.vtz.mx).